From Dave Doyle over at Yahoo:
Bellator’s plans will add 24 events to a calendar that already includes a full slate of Ultimate Fighting Championship events, an aggressive Strikeforce programming schedule and monthly fight cards from World Extreme Cagefighting.
This time, however, Bellator will expand into the English-speaking marketplace. While season one aired exclusively on the Spanish-language ESPN Deportes, the next two 12-week seasons will air in various forms on FOX Sports Net and NBC, while switching its Spanish outlet to Telemundo.
Similar to the spring season, Bellator will run a weekly series of events in venues across the country. Fight cards are slated to run live on Thursday nights on FOX Sports Net, though scheduling conflicts with local pro and college sports teams are expected to bump some air times into tape-delay mode on various affiliates.
An edited 30-minute highlight package will air late Saturdays on NBC, with the exact time varying from market to market, similar to Strikeforce’s old timeslot on the network. A one-hour program based off each show will air on Telemundo from midnight to 1 a.m. local time Saturdays.
So the three networks will be Fox Sports Net, Telemundo, and NBC. I previously stated that Fox Sports Net would be the most likely candidate if they were not able to move onto ESPN or ESPN 2, and it looks like FSN was true to its history of needing a partner to provide MMA content for them. Quote from my previous Bellator post:
FSN had PRIDE, then they had KOTC, then they had Affliction, so now they need some new MMA material. I would think Bellator would fit the bill very well.
More news after the jump...
Fedor vs Rogers "Fight Camp 360" To Air On Showtime
MMA Fanhouse reports that Showtime will produce a "Fight Camp 360" for the Fedor vs Rogers bout on CBS. Brett Rogers spoke about it on The MMA Hour at MMA FanHouse.
... Rogers mentioned that an episode of Showtime's new Fight Camp 360 series is being produced about the fight, and it will air around a week before the CBS telecast on Nov. 7. When contacted by FanHouse, Showtime officials would only say that an announcement regarding the show's air date would be coming soon.
"Fight Camp 360" is Showtime's version of HBO's 24/7. This would be the first MMA event that would garner this special treatment on the CBS/Showtime networks.
In the meantime, the news that a special preview show will air on Showtime has to be seen as a positive. The first episode of Fight Camp 360, which previewed the first stage of the super middleweight World Boxing Classic, was hailed by many boxing insiders as a solid first effort. And even though this fight isn't airing on Showtime, it will certainly play an important role in the growth of Strikeforce, which airs most of its events on the network.
HBO seemingly revolutionized the way fights are promoted by introducing the combat sports world to it's critically acclaimed 24/7 series two years ago, and the UFC followed suit in January when they produced a three-part Primetime show for UFC 94. So it will be interesting to see how Showtime uses that formula to promote it's upcoming fights, and hopefully future MMA events on the network will receive a similar promotional push.
Here is an episode of Fight Camp 360 On Showtime for the Super MW Tournament:
Fight Camp 360°- Ep01 Pt 1/2 (via SuperChannelViral)
Fight Camp 360°- Ep01 Pt 2/2 (via SuperChannelViral)
Strikeforce and CBS Take Nov. 7th Promotion To Youtube
Saturday Night Fights - MMA Returns to CBS! (via CBS)
MMA Fanhouse comments on the Youtube campaign:
The ad also features a little bit about Fedor and Rogers personally, with Fedor described as a Russian who lives in seclusion and Rogers described as a guy who used to make his living changing tires at Sam's Club and is now getting his big opportunity.
Overall, I think it's a good sign that CBS is making ads like this, I just think we need to see a lot more of it. Most hard-core MMA fans agree with Gross and Shamrock that Fedor is the best fighter in the world, but the question is whether CBS can reel in viewers who don't usually follow MMA by telling the fighters' personal stories.
Fedor and Rogers both have great stories to tell. The success of this show will depend largely on how CBS tells those stories over the next two and a half weeks.